A truly boutique cigar, MBombay, just hit the shelves of retailers in Southern California within last couple of weeks. MBombay Cigars are made in a very small factory in San Jose, Costa Rica.
In a recent interview with Mel Shah, owner of MBombay Cigars, expressed “Cigars are embedded in my memories since childhood. I can still smell the lingering mild smell of Cubans that my grandfather and my father smoked when I was a kid. After graduating college in India, my father offered me my first cigar in ’96, which he got from Dubai. I retired from IT industry in 2001, and opened a cigar shop that year in July. I enjoy retail even today, but I believe manufacturing aspect of cigars was supposed to happen. Touching, feeling and smelling of tobacco in the factory takes me right back to my grandpa’s room. I do miss him and classical music that he used to listen while smoking a fine cigar.”
The owner, Mel Shah, is a Palm Springs based tobacconist and a wine retailer for last 15 years, commented on the line “… our philosophy is simple, acquire the best quality of tobaccos and focus on quality than quantity. The wrapper tobacco used for our classic line is Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade from 2001, binders and fillers are well aged from 2006 and 2007. After the cigars are rolled by only four to five rollers in the factory, the cigars are kept in the “caparate” for more than 6 to 7 months before we start to import to the United States.” With production of merely 1000 boxes a month (boxes of 20), Shah does not plan to distribute the line to more than 200 to 250 stores nationwide.
The Classic Line
Wrapper: Ecuador Connecticut 2001; Binder: Dominican Republic; Filler: Honduras, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic and Peru
The Classic line is available in five sizes: Corona (5″ x 43), Robusto (4.5″ x 48), Belisoco (5″ x 52), Perfecto (a figurado 6 x 50) and Churchill (7″ x 48). The retail price ranges from $8.50 to $11.50.
The Maduro Line
Wrapper: Brazilian Mata Fina 2007; Binder: Peru; Filler: Honduras, Nicaragua, and Dominican Republic
The Maduro line is available in four sizes: Robusto (4.5″ x 48), Perfecto (a figurado 6 x 50), Churchill (7″ x 48) and a Double Corona (7″ x 52). The retail price ranges from $10.00 to $13.50.
Upon being asked on why he chose Costa Rica to roll his cigars to other predominant countries in Central America, Shah said “…. I was given more freedom in using the tobaccos that we purchased three years ago. The factory has an outstanding record in making cigars like Atabe, Byran and few other highly rated and popular names in European market.” For the time being, Mel does the marketing of cigars himself and with couple of his friends in the cigar industry, and visits the retail stores he feels that can house and support his cigars. “It is not easy to sell cigars in the market, nowadays. Retailers want to understand and I want to make sure that my cigars don’t end up as a dead stock on our retailer’s shelves. I’ve gone through some horrifying experiences with a few brands in our store too, and I do not want any of our retailers’ to go through that with MBombay” Shah added.
MBombay cigars are distributed solely by Bombay Tobak. Contact them through their website bombaytobak.com for more information.